Written by Arlene Vause, Secretary, Wakulla County Historical Society Tuesday, 09 October 2012 22:09
The Wakulla County Historical Society is sponsoring a Genealogy Seminar on Saturday, October 20 at the Wakulla County Extension Facility (84 Cedar Avenue, Crawfordville).Registration is at 8:15 a.m., and the fee includes breakfast and lunch. Featured speakers are genealogy experts Jay Collins and Melody Porter.
Jay Collins was born and raised in upstate New York where seven generations of ancestors trampled the ground he calls “home.” He and his wife have lived and worked in Tallahassee since Labor Day, 1978. Jay recently retired from the City of Tallahassee, where he worked as a Business Systems Analyst supporting the Document Imaging and Records Management System. While with the City he attained the credentials of Certified Document Imaging Architect and Certified Public Manager. Collins became involved in genealogy in the early 1990’s while supporting his wife’s genealogy habit. She finally convinced him to take a bite of the apple and the addiction was complete. Today, he is the owner of Bluejay Genealogy Research, tracing the genealogical connections to selected artifacts. He has served on the Board of the Tallahassee Genealogical Society since 2008, and is currently serving his third year as its president. Collins’ discussion will include: Your DNA Report—What do all those numbers mean(?), a brief introduction to the basics of DNA and genealogy; and Applying DNA to your genealogy research—practical examples of how to use DNA results to resolve questions or conflicts in genealogy research.
Melody Porter’s background is in computer software as business analyst and project manager, but she has researched her genealogy for over 20 years. In Thomasville, Georgia she has pursued genealogy as a researcher, lecturer and genealogy writer. Porter specializes in Florida, Georgia and Native American research. Proud to be a Native American (both Cherokee and Choctaw), Porter is a voting member of the Western Cherokee Tribe in Oklahoma. She has attended The Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Sanford and the Volunteer Genealogist Class at the headquarters for the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C.
Past Secretary of the Florida State Genealogical Society (FSGS) and former Pioneer Records Administrator and Reviewer for the FSGS Pioneer Certification Committee, Porter has substantial experience with the Florida research. She was presented the FSGS Distinguished Service Award in 2006. Porter has held several genealogical organization offices, but was most recently First Vice President for the International Society for Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE). As a lecturer and writer, she has written articles for several genealogical publications in print and online such as GenealogyArchives.com. A current member of the Association for Professional Genealogists (APG) in the Georgia Chapter, the Genealogical Speakers Guild and the National Genealogical Society, Porter believes in learning all she can about genealogy. As former Treasurer and Seminar Chair for the Tallahassee Genealogical Society, Melody coordinated the TGS annual seminar for four years. Conference planning is an area that Porter takes seriously since she was the Vendor Chair for the Tallahassee seminar and the Florida State Genealogical Society (FSGS) conference. As Registrar of the Thomasville, Georgia Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Melody is also interested in helping others find their family. Melody is frequently called upon for seminars and lectures. All lectures include a question-and-answer period, visual presentations and handouts, and interactive participation is encouraged. Passion is the description of Melody’s feeling for everything genealogical.
Porter’s discussion will include: CENSUS FIRST—where to start when looking for an ancestor and tracking an ancestor through history using the census gives a timeline that can help find additional materials. Census is one of the most accessible genealogical records and thanks to technology, one of the easiest to use, but there are details one needs to know. “We begin in 1790 and review the census and discuss why each decade is different,” said Porter, (the seminar) includes the 1940 census and information about other census records; and BEGINNING GENEALOGY—searching for an ancestor means looking for stories, but how do you know: what to look for, where to look, how to make sense of all that documentation, and how to keep track of what you find.
The Seminar is $35 for members and $40 for non-members. For more information contact the WCHS, 850-926-1110, 850-524-5334, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Wakulla County Historical Society Museum & Archives is located at 24 High Drive, Crawfordville and is open Thursday & Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturday 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
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